Sunday, April 25, 2010


USS Bremerton (SSN-698), a Los Angeles-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Bremerton, Washington. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 24 January 1972 and her keel was laid down on 8 May 1976. She was launched on 22 July 1978 sponsored by Mrs. Henry M. Jackson, and commissioned on 28 March 1981 with Captain Thomas H. Anderson in command.

After a successful Western Pacific deployment, in September 2003 Bremerton changed its homeport to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. When USS Los Angeles (SSN-688) was decommissioned on 23 January 2010, Bremerton became the oldest commissioned submarine in the US fleet. On that day, Richard O'Kane's cribbage board was transferred from Los Angeles to Bremerton, a tradition that dates back to World War II.

USS Cavalla (SS/SSK/AGSS-244), a Gato-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the cavalla, a salt-water fish of the pompano family inhabiting waters off the eastern coast of the Americas from Cape Cod to Río de la Plata.

Cavalla was laid down on 4 March 1943 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 14 November 1943 (sponsored by Mrs. M. Comstock), and commissioned on 29 February 1944, Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Herman J. Kossler, USN, (Class of 1934) in command.

Operational History of the Cavalla. Departing New London 11 April 1944, Cavalla arrived at Pearl Harbor 9 May for voyage repairs and training. On 31 May 1944 she put to sea, bound for distant, enemy-held waters. On her maiden patrol Cavalla, en route to her station in the eastern Philippines, made contact with a large Japanese task force 17 June. Cavalla tracked the force for several hours, relaying information which contributed to the United States victory in the Battle of the Philippine Sea (the famous "Marianas Turkey Shoot") on 19 – 20 June 1944. On 19 June she caught the carrier Shōkaku recovering planes, and quickly fired a spread of six torpedoes for three hits, enough to sink Shōkaku. After a severe depth charging by three destroyers, Cavalla escaped to continue her patrol. The feat earned her a Presidential Unit Citation.

On 25 November 1944, during her third patrol, Cavalla encountered two Japanese destroyers, and made a surface attack which blew up Shimotsuki. / 2.35; 107.333 The companion destroyer began depth charging while Cavalla evaded on the surface. Later in the same patrol, 5 January 1945, Cavalla made a night surface attack on an enemy convoy, and sank two converted net tenders. Cavalla cruised the South China and Java Seas on her fourth and fifth war patrols. Targets were few and far between, but she came to the aid of an ally on 21 May 1945. A month out on her fifth patrol, the submarine sighted HMS Terrapin, damaged by enemy depth charges and unable to submerge or make full speed. Cavalla stood by the damaged submarine and escorted her on the surface to Fremantle, arriving 27 May 1945.

Cavalla received the cease-fire order of 15 August while lifeguarding off Japan on her sixth war patrol. A few minutes later a Japanese plane that apparently had not yet received the same information bombed her. She joined the fleet units entering Tokyo Bay 31 August, remained for the signing of the surrender on 2nd September, and then departed the next day for New London, arriving 6 October 1945. She was placed out of commission in reserve there 16 March 1946.

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